What to Do About Frozen Pipes

March 17, 2021
Frozen Pipes

Nobody wants to come home to or wake up to frozen pipes. Once you realize that your Science Hill, KY, home has a frozen pipe, it’s important to take prompt action in order to prevent serious damage to your home and belongings. The first step is to call a plumber to inspect the pipes and repair them. While you wait for the plumber, here are some things to do.

Know the Signs of a Frozen Pipe

There are a few signs you should be aware of when it comes to frozen pipes. When you turn on a faucet, only a trickle of leftover liquid water will come out. This is the clearest indication that you have a frozen pipe. You may also notice unusual banging or clanging noises. This is from the pressure within the pipes and the expansion of the metal. Look around for signs of dripping water. You might notice rings or discoloration on your walls, floors, or ceiling. Look at exposed pipes, and check them for frost, condensation, or bulging areas where water may have frozen.

Turn Off the Water

The first thing to do after calling a plumber for frozen pipes is to turn off the water supply to your home. You can do this at the water main. Turning off the water main stops any more water from getting into your home’s plumbing system. If you’re not sure where it is, or if the water main is damaged or inaccessible, our plumbers can do this for you.

Open the Water Taps

The main problem with frozen pipes is the pressure caused by the expansion of water into ice. One way to help alleviate the pressure is to open all the cold water faucets or taps in your home. Turn each of the cold water taps all the way on. When the water melts, it will be able to flow out of the pipes and through the faucets or spigots.

Warm the Pipes

Many people want to thaw the frozen pipe on their own. While this could save you a visit from our plumbers, it can potentially be a dangerous thing to do. Never use an open flame to thaw a frozen pipe. Doing so could cause a fire or injury. To safely warm pipes, you could use an incandescent light bulb, space heater, or hairdryer. If you attempt to warm the pipes yourself, remove anything combustible away from the pipes. If there is any standing water or an active water leak from the pipes, do not attempt to warm them. They’ve already burst, and you need a professional repair.

Contact Your Homeowner’s Insurance Agent

If your frozen pipe bursts, contact your homeowner’s insurance agent as soon as possible. The damage to your home from the leaking water may be covered under your insurance policy. Your insurance agency will have a network of home restoration specialists who are available to come to your home as soon as we have repaired the plumbing. You’ll need to have all the water extracted as quickly as possible in order to prevent worse structural damage or mold growth.

Insulate Your Pipes

Once your home’s pipes are thawed and repaired, you’ll want to prevent this ordeal from happening again. Add insulation to your home. The Department of Energy maintains an R-value map that indicates how much insulation your home needs. The amount of insulation depends on your home’s location, building material, size, and a few other characteristics. Consider adding insulation around pipes located in the perimeter walls of your home.

Ways To Prevent Frozen Pipes in the Future

When frigid temperatures are forecast, open sink cabinets. This allows air to circulate around the pipes. Also, open each cold water tap, and allow water to trickle out. This reduces the chances of the pipes freezing. Keep your home’s temperature above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Consider investing in a whole-home generator if your area is prone to power outages and your home doesn’t have a fireplace or alternative source of heat that can operate without electricity.

Jeffries Heating & Air + Plumbing is Science Hill’s trusted plumbing repair company. You can also rely on us for on-time heating and air conditioning maintenance, repair, and replacement services. Our drain cleaning and plumbing services keep your home comfortable at all times. To learn more about what you should do if your home’s pipes freeze, get in touch with us at Jeffries Heating & Air + Plumbing today.

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